I admit over the last 20+ years, I have created some really scary flies that cast like trash can lids or disintegrate with the first round of false casts, but that’s how you learn. Spot-on realistic flies and extremely delicate shadow-box flies that will never touch the water have their place, but if your aim is to wrestle fish, then you need to take a few more things into consideration. I like to start with ” The 3 Abilities I thing all flies should have; Durability, Castability and Fishabiility”
Although there are how-to’s for my favorite patterns, my goal is not only to teach you how to tie a particular fly, but rather to explain how to create new productive flies and the reasons why one material may work better in a given situation than another. If you understand why historically productive patterns work so well, it will help you design flies that look cool and catch fish too. My process starts with the fish!